DCF Investigations Following a Risk of Injury Charge in Greenwich
Handling DCF investigations following a risk of injury charge in Greenwich is far from simple to manage by yourself, even if you have experience interacting with investigators. Seeking support from a knowledgeable risk of injury attorney can be vital to protecting your interests, as well as those of your partner, children, and other loved ones.
What Do DCF Investigators Look For?
In Connecticut, being accused of putting your child at risk of physical or moral harm can have severe consequences. These often begin with an investigation overseen by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). DCF investigators have broad authority to examine every detail of your family’s home life and recommend further action that may have wide-ranging effects.
It is important to emphasize that DCF investigators are not law enforcement officers or detectives. They are not looking specifically for evidence of criminal behavior, although they might pass any such evidence they find to other authorities. Instead, their priority is to determine whether a person accused of harming a household or family member poses any risk of causing additional harm in the future. Keep in mind: anything you say to DCF Workers can be used against you!
With that in mind, DCF investigations following risk of injury charges in Greenwich commonly include multiple interviews with all family and household members and surprise home inspections. These and other actions are meant to prevent a person who is a danger to their family from hiding what they have been doing. However, these investigations can also be invasive in many respects. Any awkward statement or poorly phrased answer to a question could potentially be used by the DCF to support a harsh final decision once the investigation concludes. This is why retaining skilled legal representation can be so important.
What Are the Possible Outcomes of a Risk of Injury DCF Investigation?
Most DCF investigations in Greenwich based on risk of injury charges or any other alleged criminal offense conclude within 45 days. In the meantime, DCF investigators may request a defendant’s signature on a “Service Agreement” or “Safety Plan,” which can provide access to certain state-funded services. However, these documents can also constitute a substantial forfeiture of basic rights, such as the ability to live in your own home or spend time alone with your children. It is always worth discussing this, and any other kind of agreement, with legal counsel before putting pen to paper.
Based on the evidence found by investigators, DCF will issue a verdict about whether the underlying allegations of child abuse or neglect were substantiated or unsubstantiated. If accusations are substantiated, DCF may go on to recommend placement on their Central Registry. In certain situations, impacted children could be removed from the household.
It is also important to note that the outcome of a related criminal case has no direct bearing on the conclusion of a DCF investigation. Even if someone is acquitted of their risk of injury charges, a substantiated investigation could still lead to life-altering sanctions.
Call a Greenwich Attorney to Help Manage a DCF Investigation Following a Risk of Injury Charge
DCF has substantial authority in Connecticut, particularly when investigating alleged abuse or neglect stemming from risk of injury charges. Having help from a legal representative with experience handling both the criminal and family court aspects of a charge like this can be vital to preserving your rights.
If you are subject to a DCF investigation following a risk of injury charge in Greenwich, contacting a tenacious domestic violence lawyer should be a top priority. Head on over to Avvo to read why over 300 past clients have given us 5-star reviews, and reach out to Mark Sherman Law to schedule a consult today.